The 7th annual Japan Fair held on Sunday, February 19, 2017 was lively with over five hundred people plus visiting delegations from Mie Prefecture and Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. This year’s Japan Fair was co-hosted by Mie Prefecture, Palau’s sister city which celebrated its 20th Anniversary of friendship with Palau last year. Ngarachamayong Cultural Center was decorated with colorful vessel flags, variety of posters showcasing high rise buildings in Japanese cities, Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms, forest and nature, Japanese food as well as photos of different exchange activities and films to promote Japan’s culture.
The delegation from Mie Prefecture included Honorable Eiichi Ishigaki, Vice Governor of Mie Prefecture, Honorable Masanobu Hioki, Vice-Chairman of Mie Prefecture Assembly, members of Mie Prefecture Assembly, Mie Maritime High school students and representatives of Toba Aquarium. Mie Maritime High School students arrived in Palau on their fishing vessel named “Shirochidori”. They showcased their ship equipment, uniforms, ship flags and also did a song performance on stage. In their efforts to further strengthen ties with Palau, Mie Prefecture delegation promoted Mie’s attractions such as the famous shrine named Ise Jingu, Matsuzaka beef, Mikimoto pearl. Being well known for having a Ninja village, they set up a Ninja booth with costumes to try on. Many children visited the booth to try on the ninja costume. Mie Prefecture also presented a documentary film “Umi Yama Aida” meaning “In Between Mountains and Oceans”, which is about the rebuilding of Ise Jingu Shrine. Representatives from Toba Aquarium, which is well known in Japan as the only aquarium with a live dugong exhibit, also had a film showing all kinds of sea creatures that live in cold waters.
On stage there were live performances by Palau Judo Federation and students from Japanese Language School who did taiko and Soran Bushi (work song) performance. Both performances involved children who captivated the audience with their amazing talents. Booth activities were set up for everyone to experience the Japanese culture through calligraphy and origami as well as a booth providing scholarship information and other informative publications about the Japanese culture.
Mr. Katsumori Takashima from Iwaki City of Fukushima Prefecture joined the Japan Fair for the second time this year and had a booth for trying on the Yukata. Mr. Takashima did a presentation about the cultural exchange program with Palau to invite students from Palau to Japan for two weeks to learn about business as well as the Japanese language and culture.
The Embassy of Japan in Palau extends its appreciation to Senator Frank Kyota, former President Kuniwo Nakamura, Minister of Education, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, Chief of Staff and everyone who attended this cultural event. We thank our special guests from Mie Prefecture and Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. We also thank all our stage performers, Japanese Language School, and Palau Judo Federation as well as all who volunteered to assist in organizing the event especially the JICA volunteers. [/restrict]